Find Your Blind Spots: 7 Things a Manufacturing Manager is Missing

Mar 21, 2023 8:15:00 AM / by ThinkIQ

As a manufacturing manager, it's essential to be aware of potential blind spots that could impact your facility's productivity, safety, and overall success. By recognizing these areas and implementing smart manufacturing solutions, you can optimize your operations and ensure a clear path to success. In this blog, we will reveal the common blind spots a manufacturing manager might face and how embracing Smart Manufacturing can transform your business.



You Can't Manage What You Can't See - Blindspots In Manufacturing

There's a well-known saying, "You can't manage what you can't measure." However, it goes further than that – you certainly can't manage what you can't see.

For a manufacturing manager, there's a wide variety of data that seems impossible to measure: employee safety, hand manufacturing production rates, machine run rates, supply levels, analog machine activity, and the ability to trace every sub-product or ingredient from supplier-through-delivery. This is where Smart Manufacturing comes into play, offering valuable solutions to tackle these challenges head-on.

7 Common Blindspots In Manufacturing

Often, older equipment or legacy manufacturing facilities have a small amount of digital data, and the rest seems hidden. At some locations, more than 65% of the factory floor can be digitally invisible. At others, 80% or 90% is available as digital data from inside their factory, but no data is integrated from the supply chain. What are some common blind spots?

  1. Materials: If a manufacturing manager doesn't know where their ingredients are, how can they address potential issues such as contamination, freshness, heat or shipping damage, or delays? Relying on a bill-of-lading isn't enough. With Smart Manufacturing, material data traceability shows can show where every ingredients or subproduct came from on a granular level, with extensive details, giving you better control over your supply chain.
  2. Analog equipment: Older technology may lack connectivity, thus creating a massive blind spot. However, new technologies can be added on easily to analog equipment, using cameras and/or simple IoT devices to offer real-time counts and efficiency stats. This allows a manufacturing manager to optimize equipment usage and monitor performance more effectively.
  3. Human interpretation: In many manufacturing facilities, humans inspect items manually. This includes everything such as analyzing fruit by eye, to inspecting a completed guitar, to spot-samples in a chemical or pharmaceutical line. With Smart Manufacturing — which often uses computer vision and IoT devices — a manufacturing manager can digitize and standardize this data, dramatically reducing the human component and increasing data and efficiency.
  4. Manual processes: Manual tasks — from painting to hand-manufacturing — have traditionally been very difficult to track in real-time. With Smart Manufacturing vision tools, a manufacturing manager can monitor these processes effectively and in real-time.
  5. Safety: A manufacturing manager may not know if employees are violating safe zones, carrying things incorrectly, driving too fast, or neglecting that safety chain across the dock. A Smart Manufacturing vision system can identify and flag these issues, helping to maintain a safe working environment. Another angle of safety is food safety. For food manufacturers, knowing when and where ingredients come from, as well as any potential contamination risks, is invaluable.
  6. Yard and dock operations data: Delivery times, license plate numbers, weight, and time a vehicle stayed are currently blind spots that can all be tracked using Smart Manufacturing systems. A manufacturing manager can even detect potential theft from a dock, ensuring greater security and operational efficiency.
  7. Connectible equipment: Often, equipment with IoT capabilities isn't connected or integrated properly. Smart Manufacturing teams can help a manufacturing manager with both connectivity and standardization of inputs and outputs, making them usable and insightful.

If you’ve thought that your blind spots will always be blind spots … think again. New technologies can reveal data — and off management opportunities — that provide a serious competitive advantage to those who adopt Smart Manufacturing technology.

How Smart Manufacturing Makes Blindspots Visible 

Implementing Smart Manufacturing technology enables manufacturing managers to get a comprehensive view of their operations. It helps to uncover blind spots and identify areas for improvement, leading to increased productivity, efficiency, and safety.

For example, using IoT or vision data with AI analysis can provide proactive notifications on manufacturing issues, allowing a manufacturing manager to address problems before they escalate. Material traceability can help food manufacturers avoid recalls and protect their brand reputation. Camera data combined with AI analysis can monitor employee safety, identifying violations such as entering unsafe zones or not securing an empty dock properly.

By embracing these innovative solutions, manufacturing managers can make data-driven decisions and stay ahead of the competition.

The Role Of ThinkIQ In Addressing Manufacturing Blindspots 

At ThinkIQ, we understand the importance of addressing blind spots in manufacturing. Our industry-leading solutions are specifically designed to help manufacturing managers identify and overcome these challenges. By aligning our products with the five stages required to reach Industry 4.0 Smart Manufacturing — Data Capture, Visualization & Integration, Insight, Continuous Improvement, and Smart Manufacturing — we offer a clear path to success.

ThinkIQ solutions are tailored to various industries, including Food & Beverage Manufacturing, Pharmaceutical Manufacturing, Mining-to-Metals, Construction Yard, Manufacturing Safety, and Chemical Manufacturing. We find and solve the blind spot problem for manufacturing managers in these industries, and beyond.

Don't let blind spots in manufacturing hold your facility back. As a manufacturing manager, you have the power to make these hidden areas visible and transform your operations. Get our free ebook, "Advanced Material Traceability Revolutionizes Digital Transformation," by clicking here, and take the first step toward Industry 4.0 Smart Manufacturing with ThinkIQ >


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Tags: SMART Manufacturing, Industry 4.0, manufacturing blind spots


Written by ThinkIQ

Think IQ

The Industry 4.0 Data Revolution

Proven to improve manufacturing yield, safety, quality, and compliance by making sense of your data.

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